5 Dorm Hacks to Turn a Small Room into a Gaming Paradise

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Class is (almost) back in session, and in just a few short weeks, students around the country will be loading up their computers, Playstation 4s, Xbox Ones, and Wii Us into mom's minivan, heading across the country to move into a dorm room and start the college experience. Living in a cramped dorm room can be a big change, but with a few dorm hacks, you can make sure it's not a negative one. Just because you live in a small dorm doesn't mean you won't have room for a sweet gaming setup that is the envy of your friends and classmates.

So, do-it-yourselfers, join us as we share some lifehacks to level up your dorm game.

Maximize your game storage with cinderblock shelves

Making cinderblock shelves is an incredibly cheap and easy dorm hack that turns wall space into game-storage-space, and if you have enough room in your dorm, you can make like the above image and have your shelves double as an entertainment unit.

Most standard cinderblocks, turned on their side, are the perfect height to give clearance to a DVD or video game, so building small shelving units with them are easy. Simply buy a few cinderblocks and sturdy, flat pieces of wood (we recommend 2x8s) then, using a level to ensure that there's no chance that the shelving shifts at all, stack them up. Use common sense when building, and be sure that if you are building a particularly tall shelf, you secure the cinderblocks to the wood since the whole assembly will be very heavy.

Get more space by getting your bed off the ground

If cinderblock shelves aren't possible given the layout of your dorm room, a combination of bed risers and plastic under-bed storage boxes can be a great way to get more storage for games without sacrificing precious wall or floor space. For those that are a bit more adventurous, a more difficult (but effective) dorm hack involves lofting your bed well off the ground, so high that a desk, couch, or bookcase can be stored under it. This clears up, like, 2 Dance Dance Revolution pads worth of space, so if you can manage to loft your bed, we recommend it.

Keep in mind that many dorms actually have restrictions on the way that dorm beds can be lofted, so be sure to check first!

Make the most out of that weird door pouch shoe holder thing

So you know that shoe holder thing that your parents bought you? The one that hangs on your door with a bunch of pouches? Don't use that for shoes. Those pouches are the perfect size to store game controllers, cables, and even games themselves depending on their size. These door organizers are versatile and offer an easy-to-use storage solution for gaming accessories that are easily misplaced. 

We recommend working in rows or columns, organizing the accessories by system so that you can find whatever you're looking for incredibly quickly and easily. Speaking from personal experience, losing a controller under a bed or desk or something is just the worst thing ever, so this easy dorm hack can save a few headaches over the course of the year.

Keep your cords organized

Binder clips have more uses than just holding together reams of paper. The way they are constructed actually makes them perfect for cord organization since you can clip them to your desk or entertainment unit and simply run the wires through the metal loops. Keeping these cords separated will not only make your room look nicer for when you have people over, but will also make things a lot easier when you have to move out, or if you decide to switch up your setup. As an added bonus, this dorm hack kind of makes you feel like MacGyver, finding a handy alternate use for a household item. 

Velcro everything

Seriously. If you're trying to save space, velcro is your best friend. For gaming accessories, up to and including Rock Band and Guitar Hero controllers, velcro can be a great way to keep them organized without giving up precious desk, drawer, or table space. Just be sure that you check the weight of the item you want to mount against the strength of the velcro first and be sure to always stick the soft part of the velcro to the thing you're mounting to maximize comfort. When mounting, keep in mind that the more points of contact the velcro has with itself, the more secure the item will be, so for heavier items, you may need to use a lot of the stuff. You'll be rewarded, however, with a clutter-free dorm. It's a small price to pay.

Do you have any other dorm hacks for the college-bound gamer? Let us know in the comments! Also, before you head to your first class, be sure to check out this back-to-school gamer fashion guide so you can impress all the folks in Psych 101!

Published Aug. 5th 2016

Featured Contributor

RobotsFightingDinosaurs has been writing about games for 10 years and playing them even longer. Despite the millions of hours he's played across multiple gaming generations, his favorite games are The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and Super Smash Bros. Robots has written for Polygon, Thrillist, Kill Screen, and more.

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